Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, August 13, 2007

Human Weapon: a different perspective

Every martial arts related blog and forum has an article on the new series being shown on the History Channel, Human Weapon. I vowed not to do so unless I could think of something original to write.

Here we go.

The premise of the show, as you probably know, is that two Americans train in come martial art for a week or so, then one of them engages in an exhibition match against a steady practitioner. One of these guys is a Mixed Martial Artist, while the other is an ex pro football player and wrestler.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was impressed that the ex football player fought a karate man to a draw in a match.

I have a different point of view.

In a fight between two men, all things being equal, the advantage will go to the bigger, stronger man. The goal of martial arts training for the smaller man is to mitigate the disadvantage, or if he is highly skilled, overcome the natural advantage of the bigger man.

Football, especially pro football is an extremely violent sport. Even for someone who only spent a few years at the professional level would be extremely tough and be able to mete out and receive blows that would do serious damage to the rest of us. Anyone at a professional level at virtually any sport would also have way above average eye hand coordination, reflexes, agility, etc. In short, even if he wasn't at his physical peak, this ex pro football player would rate among the very worst opponents any of us could want to fight.

The karate man in question was, as I recall, only a second degree black belt. That's really not that far up the ladder at all. Granted that he wasn't the run of the mill 2nd dan, he was a tournament champion, but he wasn't a "master" either.

The karate man was much smaller, and what I thought was notable was that it was the karate man who fought the ex football pro to a draw. That is a tribute to his training and fighting spirit. The ex football pro didn't disappear in a cloud of smoke when he was hit; he took it and he hit back. Sometimes he hit back very hard.

I think this perspective might bring a whole new light to Human Weapon.


Zen said...

excellent point , lest not forget the football player's, "lost of focus" to the jaw of the Karate Man.

Rick Matz said...

A myth beginning martial artists get and sometimes never outgrow, maybe because of noncontact sparring, is that if you touch your opponent; no matter how big and strong he is, he'll disappear in a puff of smoke.

Try that against a boxer.